*Outlook for 2024 optimistic with 70% growth forecast for Ireland & UK markets
At a press lunch briefing in Dublin Harris MAXUS presented a progress report on the performance of its Chinese brand’s commercial vehicles and cars. Mark Barrett, Managing Director of Harris MAXUS announced a notable 46% growth in sales for its Irish and UK markets for 2023, underscoring the brand’s rise in the automotive industry on this side of Europe. The target for 2024 is set for 70% growth, based on additional new models and stronger sales and aftersales programmes.
Mark stated that its 8 years since the Harris Group acquired the franchise, then known as LDV, credits this growth to the brand’s robust investment into vehicle innovation and design, its range of premium pure electric vehicles, and the proficiency of its dealership network along with a repositioning of the brand.
“Our BEVs sales performed well over the past 12 months with a 19.8% uptick in the UK market. Ireland saw a 109% increase, albeit from a lower base (YTD). Going into 2024, things are looking positive and we are projecting a 70% rise in overall sales next year,” he said. He also announced that two new electric vehicles are set to be unveiled by the brand in 2024; the eDELIVER 5, a new premium electric panel van and the MIFA 7, a high-tech MPV, which will be a smaller sister to the MIFA 9 that launched last year.
Harris MAXUS is confident that the newly introduced eDELIVER 7, premiered at the CV Show 2023, will play a pivotal role in the company’s EV sales for 2024. “This mid-size electric van fits snugly between our smaller eDELIVER 3 van and larger eDELIVER 9 option and will fill a gap in the market. It’s available to order with delivery from January 2024, coming in three size configurations and two battery options, with an excess 1 tonne payload.”
Mark emphasised the significance of the British market in this mid-size van segment, equating to over 100,000 units per year.
While sales predictions for 2024 are positive, next year will not be without its challenges, according to Mark: “Demand for EV is strong, however it’s nowhere near where it should be. eLCVs in Ireland account for just 3.22% of overall LCV sales. The key challenge for the EV sector, particularly in Ireland, is the appalling EV infrastructure, particularly outside of major cities. There’s a growing gap between the number of electric cars on Irish roads and the number of available public chargers. More action is needed by government, with focus needed not only on the quantity of chargers available, but also the type of chargers and their location,” he said.
Infrastructure is not the only issue, he also stressed, and cited a lack of grants, incentives and supports for drivers and businesses causing frustration in the market. “The motor sector has seen a slowdown in EV sales and demand has been tempered by rising inflation and a paucity of grants. Government incentives are on a downward slide at a time when they need to be increased. In Ireland, we’re lagging behind our European counterparts when it comes to incentivising EV buyers and more needs to be done if we wish to meet the government’s proposed climate targets for 2030.”
As a result, and after carefully considered customer feedback, Harris MAXUS is to introduce a new diesel vehicle to market. “Our strategy since 2020 was to phase out our diesel offering and to focus entirely on EVs. However, we recognise the challenges some face in adopting to electric vehicles. While committed to sustainable transportation, we acknowledge the immediate needs of customers and are cognisant of the fact that older ICE vehicles contribute to higher carbon emissions. In recognition of these immediate requirements, we’re introducing a new diesel variant of the MAXUS DELIVER 7 in 2024. This option provides a practical and carbon-efficient alternative for those navigating obstacles in the transition to EVs, ensuring our dealers can thrive while we continue our journey towards a greener future.”
As mentioned Harris MAXUS is set for substantial growth in both Ireland and the UK in the co
ming year with plans to strengthen its aftersales and dealership network, boost sales through a diverse and growing vehicle range, and optimise operational efficiency through innovative technological solutions. To date there are 14 dealerships in Ireland, 66 in the UK, supplying six vehicles in the range, five of which are pure electric vehicles. There is talk of Harris MAXUS introducing a truck range from the brand, starting with a light duty version, which have been on exhibit at European trade shows.
Integral to Harris MAXUS’ strategic approach is the increased provision of cutting-edge EV training for technicians at two state-of-the-art academies located at Harris HQ in Dublin and at Warrington, Liverpool. The Harris Training Academy, which launched in 2021, has been a resounding success, emerging as a premier hub for knowledge exchange and has earned a reputation as a leading centre for excellence in the education of electric vehicle technology.
In conclusion, Mark again: “2024 is not just a pivotal year for MAXUS, it marks a significant milestone for The Harris Group and its wider franchises. Substantial investments will be directed towards the enhancement of our Naas Road campus. Under the dynamic leadership of Mrs Denise Harris, the business will undergo a strategic restructuring, paving the way for considerable growth across all our brands.”
Harris MAXUS Commercials and Cars on sale
|180km – 296km
|51.5Kwh, 65Kwh, 72Kwh & 88.55Kwh
|860 – 1200
Ex VAT (€56,626)
|77kWh & 88kWh
|1025 – 1200
Ex VAT (€44,711)
|159km – 243km
|865 – 1202
Ex VAT (€38,490)
|MIFA 9 MPV
|430km – 440km
(Ex-Vat inc VRT €58,425)
|1005 – 1140
Ex VAT (€31,212)
Costs inclusive of VAT and exclusive of delivery charges